Flipping Between Languages? An Exploratory Analysis of the Usage by Spanish-Speaking English Language Learner Tertiary Students of a Bilingual Probability Applet

Lawrence M. Lesser, Amy E. Wagler, and Berenice Salazar

English language learners (ELLs) are a rapidly growing part of the student population in many countries. Studies on resources for language learners—especially Spanish speaking ELLs—have focused on areas such as reading, writing, and mathematics, but not introductory probability and statistics. Semi-structured qualitative interviews investigated how a purposeful sample of six (Spanish-speaking) ELLs experienced a bilingual coin-flipping simulation applet (NLVM, 2015) and how students might use such resource to confront content misconceptions and language misunderstandings related to probability concepts covered in college introductory statistics courses. We discuss findings, limitations, directions for future research, and implications for teaching, such as handling the phrases “in the long run” and “longest run”.